I loved how intentional they were with acknowledging my support team. my partner was really involved the whole way through. he was so included with the education, and I felt like he was prepared for labor and delivery, too.
wayland's birth story
First-time mom Janette lives just outside of Knoxville with her husband, Jacob. with a pregnancy she describes as “smooth sailing,” Janette is one of those lucky women who had a (somewhat) easy labor and delivery as well. she and her family were one of our very first clients at Baby and Company in Knoxville, so we were especially excited to welcome baby Wayland on June 23, 2017. we chatted with Janette about her experience at the birth center.
let’s start at the beginning. why did you decide to go with a birth center birth?
my regular gynecologist doesn’t provide obstetric care as well, so I was looking at reviews for the places in our provider list. compared to all of the other options in our network, the Lisa Ross center (soon to be Baby and Company) had fantastic reviews. it seemed like one of those patient-centered places that was so much more appealing to me than the sterile feeling of a medical office. when we walked through the doors of the new facility, we felt welcome and relaxed. from my very first appointment, I loved it there. I especially liked the prenatal group visits, since the other couples would ask questions that I hadn’t thought of but still wanted to know the answers to!
were you nervous about giving birth naturally with midwives?
I wasn’t nervous. I did a lot of research into the statistics and saw that outcomes for mom and baby are actually better with midwives. the midwives at baby+co. were very upfront about any circumstances when we might need to go to a hospital. as for epidurals, I have a number of friends and relatives who have had epidurals that didn’t “take” for one reason or another. that seems like the primary pain relief at a hospital, but at Baby and Company I’d have several different options for pain relief. I’m really glad I chose the birth center – I just loved the whole thing.
did you take any classes at the center?
I took every class I could! I took the birth journey class, the breastfeeding class, and the newborn class and they were all really helpful. we ended up having some trouble with breastfeeding, but since I had learned what was normal and what wasn’t, I could recognize when we needed extra help and get it right away. that made things much more pleasant because we could address the issues before it got really frustrating. after Wayland was born, our midwife gave us a game plan to conquer our struggles. without that early intervention, I know we would have had a much more tearful, difficult breastfeeding experience.
so what happened when you went into labor?
i woke up when my water broke at 3:30 in the morning. we already had an appointment scheduled that day, so we came in around 8:30. I was three centimeters dilated and having contractions, so my husband and I just relaxed in the room. all in all, labor took 21 hours, and I’m pretty sure I used every single thing in the room at least once.
which tools did you find especially helpful?
I love the water. a hot shower was exactly what I wanted while I was in labor. I was also moving around almost constantly, except at the very end. the midwife suggested we walk around outside, which was a great change of pace. she was so serene and supportive. she had the perfect balance between giving us space and stepping in with suggestions when I needed something more. things stalled towards the end and she could tell I was losing momentum. the midwife really guided me through that critical juncture.
what stands out to you about your birth center experience?
I loved how intentional they were with acknowledging my support team. my partner was really involved the whole way through. he was so included with the education, and I felt like he was prepared for labor and delivery, too. we discussed everything that would happen, and he knew how to be helpful. he felt comfortable in the space and with the midwives from his previous visits. that made it much easier on both of us.
I also loved that the care was so integrated. after Wayland was born, we went straight from the midwives to pediatrics. the two branches communicated so well with each other – it was seamless. we didn’t have to fill out a bunch of forms or repeat the same information. everyone there knows who we are.
I really valued the few hours after Wayland was born. he didn’t leave my arms; the midwives worked around us. hours later, Jacob and I were exhausted. the midwife offered to hold him while my husband and I napped, and that meant so much to me. I’m not a person who is eager to let others hold my baby, but I knew that he was in great and loving hands so I had no hesitations.
the people at Baby and Company are so warm and family-like. we always feel listened to, trusted, and respected. jacob and I are so thankful we found them, and we can’t imagine having a baby anywhere else.